Stick Figure



What's a great thing you can do for your pre-nursery school children to give them an edge on reading and writing skills for the rest of their lives? What can you do for them that's less expensive than sending them to a kindergarten school in Vermont for $20,000 a year?


What you can do is encourage them to draw. Their time spent drawing will significantly help them with their reading and writing skills as they get older. Writing, like drawing, comes from the mind. Before something can be written, it must first be visualized.


When children draw, they strengthen their,

  • Logical thinking

  • Visualization skills

  • Mental organization

  • Communication skills

  • Hand-eye coordination

Drawing pictures encourages your child to think. For a child to draw a picture, the child must first concentrate on the emerging picture. Drawing gives more time for your young child to think of one concept at a time. This helps extend your child's attention span. Is this not a good thing?


Your daughter's drawings are her rewards for her thoughts. They are her accomplishments.


"Mommy, look what I drew!"


Unfortunately, schools are increasingly deemphasizing children’s arts. Too often, children are permitted to draw only after they "get their real work done."


The older I get, the more I realize that the people running things don't know what their doing.


Drawing vs. writing

Here’s a question for you. Which is easier to do: drawing or writing? Would you believe they’re equally difficult?


“But anyone can write a sentence,” you say.


Don’t confuse writing with writing well. The percentage of people who can draw well is the same percentage of people who can write well. It is actually very difficult to write proficiently, clearly, and persuasively. It is not easier than drawing, painting, or sculpting.


Drawing

Does a child’s first recognizable drawing look something like this?



Clearly, this is a picture of mommy, especially if she has brown hair and purple eyes.


What about this next drawing?



We know a quite a bit about what is going on in this picture. We know the direction the butterfly is flying. We even have an idea of its disposition. Notice the two wings match each other. I think that's a nice touch.


How would you judge the quality of the following drawing?



The artist was probably only trying to lay out the subject’s position and proportions. Or perhaps she was bored during an office meeting.


This next drawing is simple but effective. In the literary world, it might be considered a short story.



This drawing was likely drawn by a professional artist. I believe this because,

  1. The artist used the correct selection of details.

  2. The artist used the correct physical proportions for the chosen style.

  3. The artist added a flower, an attentive cat, and a brick wall to frame the subject.

The bricks are drawn as if viewed through a fish-eyed lens, making it appear that we are close to the young girl. Because the cat is interested in what is going on, we too want to know what is going on.


A stick figure vs. a fully-rendered drawing

Everything so far in this post applies equally to writing.


Like the artist’s picture, what makes a story satisfying is the correct choice and arrangement of details. The writer’s task is to create a fully-rendered story compete with depth, emotion, and contrast, all framed within a relatable scene while using only a reasonable amount of words.


Writing well is like filling in the muscles and skin over the stick figure. Drawing and writing employ the same principles. They’re just given different names:



Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. I say a good story is worth a thousand pictures.

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